Diversity, Repentance, and the Real Bible: Book of Acts chapter 8, part 2
Scriptural Examples of True Repentance and Real Diversity
(Acts chapter 8, verses 18–30)
Last week in our ongoing study of the Book of Acts, we left off at verse 17 of chapter 8. Simon the sorcerer had just been converted to what we now call Christianity by the apostles Peter and John. Back then the teachings of our Lord and Savior were simply called “The Way”, a much better name in my own opinion. So this week as we move on, we will find Simon getting himself sharply rebuked by Peter for asking the wrong question the wrong way, followed by a Biblical example of the absence of prejudice in the face of racial diversity. So let’s pick up where we last left off, starting at verse 18.
Part One of This Week’s Study Verses
“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ Peter answered, ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.’ Then Simon answered, ‘Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.’ When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel in many Samaritan villages.” (Acts 8, verses 18–25)
Although many pastors and teachers of the Word habitually use Simon as an example of how NOT to use the gifts of the Spirit (and there’s nothing wrong with that), let me also point out that Simon was a reflection of the times in which he lived. There was widespread paganism 2,000 years ago, with all kinds of weird beliefs, rituals and superstitions. There was also a lot of sorcery and witchcraft, not to mention fortune-tellers, astrologers and even Luciferians who engage in devil worship. These types of spiritually nefarious activities are still prevalent today in…